Results and Preliminary Analysis of Survey Data on Course Distributions in Music Industry Degree Programs

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Title

Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association conference


Universal City, CA

Conference Dates

April 1-2, 2011

Date of Presentation



In preparation for an upcoming review and likely revision to the music management degrees offered at the author’s institution, he conducted a spring 2010 study of forty-three music industry programs. The purpose was to ascertain how various schools were complying with the requirement to offer courses in the area of music industry studies, as well as institutionally specified non-music industry curriculum.

The author suspected that course distribution models may often be dictated by the fact that such degrees can be found within a larger department or school, for instance, music, business, fine arts, et al., which for the purpose of this study is referred to as the “host” discipline. For such programs, the areas of study that comprise the degree are: a) music industry studies; b) studies in the host discipline; and c) courses required to fulfill institution-wide general education requirements.

While an earlier study offered a useful overview of the structure of music industry programs (Taylor, 1991), it provided limited data regarding course distributions. Hence, this current study focuses more narrowly on what types and numbers of classes now make up music industry degrees. The author will present detailed data on course distributions in and out of music industry studies, the percentage of elective coursework offered by respondents, length of time since most recent program revision, data on curriculum inflation (required courses added without extending the degree’s timetable), as well as other information.

While the analysis of this data is not yet complete, the author believes that sharing it now, along with some preliminary interpretation, may be of interest to MEIEA educator members.

The presentation will conclude by looking briefly at whether or not this new data might also lead to revisiting the arguments made by Cusic (1991), Sanjek (1995), and Garfrerick (2006). They argued that music industry students might, in fact, be better served by the creation of an interdisciplinary department or center of music industry studies, rather than the host discipline model.